what has happened to the hobby? - Printable Version
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RE: what has happened to the hobby? - xstreaminsanity - 10-21-2011 01:40 PM
I think the biggest reason why the hobby is the way it is now is because of greed. However, I'm not referring to just the greed of the card manufacturers or the players, but people who don't even collect cards.
One day, while talking to my dad about my cards, he told me I should start selling my cards (even PC) because of the fact that I could get some nice coin for them (not really). I told him about how a card might be valued at $20 and sell for $8 online if you're lucky, depending on who the player is. After about a 2 hour conversation, he said "How about I buy some boxes, send them to you to break them, and then you sell them on eBay?" I tried to explain to him that he would more than likely not get his ROI (Return on Investment) but he said it was worth it if we pulled a nice Jordan, Kobe or LeBron AU (even though he only knows who Jordan is). He used to own a photographer's shop right next to an LCS (more of a comic store though) so he knows only a little about cards. But he thought he saw a gold mine.
I partially blame this on superstar's RC cards. People see Jordan's RC, LeBron's RC, Rose's RC, Durant's RC and others selling for hundreds to thousands of dollars and think if they spend $500 on a high-end box that they're going to get at least twice what they spent. And then they'll get two boxes this time and do the same thing. Now, the card manufacturers aren't stupid, they see this and they know they can milk it. And as a company, you can't blame them really. They think that since us normal collectors can't afford to buy those high-end boxes, they'll sell them for a lot, people thinking they'll get rich buy them, and then put them on eBay for us collectors to get them at lower prices. A box of 2010-11 Gold Standard is going for anywhere between $110-$150. You get twelve cards in the box. I just bought 13 cards on eBay for less than $50, including shipping. Total Hi BV is $147+. Of these 13 cards, 8 are from Gold Standard, 2 are from National Treasures, 2 are from Totally Certified and 1 is from Elite Black Box. Also, 7 have jerseys (5 swatches, 1 patch, 1 manufactured patch), 4 have autographs (White, Monroe-2, Laimbeer) and 2 are numbered /25. What would my chances have been of getting those cards having bought 1 box of each of those four products? Very very very slim (especially 8 of those being from Gold Standard).
Now honestly, I don't fully mind this. I would love to break a box of National Treasures; one to say I did, but two to have some nice trade bait. But at the same time, I'm not willing to spend $500 on one box (yet at least) unless I have a lot of money available, bills are paid, cars running good, and kids are out of the house (some or all of those have to happen for me to buy a box that expensive). I know I might get $500 worth in trade value, but when only 3 of the cards out of the box are someone people are looking for, then I still didn't get the $500 worth. But if I know that I can spend less than $50 on some really nice looking cards and still "feel" like I broke all of those boxes of cards, that's awesome.
Now, I do believe that the card manufacturers also play a bigger role in this (flooding the market with low SN, GU, AU, too many parallels, etc.). But the players also play a big factor, wanting $50 to sign their name just once, or $75 for their jersey, or whatever the case is. It also feels like on some products, more thought is put into the design of the box rather than the design of the cards. I just wish I knew that I could buy a box of cards and get at least 90% of the set, including rookies and legends. I also believe that they should make TRUE RC just a card, no AU or GU on them (probably just my opinion) and have an insert set of Rookie Material Signatures or something.
But I really believe there is too much wrong with the hobby and equal share of the blame goes to "investors", the card manufacturers, and the players.
RE: what has happened to the hobby? - newfiecomicguy1 - 10-24-2011 10:53 AM
Card collection was once for fun...profit was never suppose to be part of it. Cards were meant for kids to collect and share with their friends and their dads (or moms I guess). Back in the 70's and 80's there was no internet and no pure card shops or they were very few. Kids would get a few packs as a treat. There wasn't much box and certainly no case breaks to flip for investment. Collecting was a hobby, it was for the love of the game, it was to obtain information and pictures of our heroes. Tv showed a few games a week (except playoffs) heck we only had 2 TV stations. Now we have pretty much 24 hour coverage and access to an athletes life....who needs to read the back of a card....how many points..boom google got it!!!
Over the years collectors got excited over the changes and new creative ideas. Gu, auto's parallels etc...shiny was new and cool. Over the years the companies who produce these cards have slowly destroyed a once kid oriented hobby and changed it into an expensive adult hobby. Packs and boxes are outrageously prices and the hobby has gotten so flooded with auto's and gu that it has totally killed the resale market.
The hobby has become something entirely different then what it was. Days of collecting and trading card for card with no value except sentimental value is long gone. Now its all about the big pull, white whales, mojo and all kinds of other foolishness. Can you imagine buying the new modern cards for your kids and sending them off to school to play knock downs with cards from a $100-700 box of cards...funny. Kids can't afford to collect and what they can buy from their own money no one wants. Its really a shame that such a cool hobby has been turned into such a greedy money driven business. I would love for the hobby to crash and for it to go back to the old ways where we collected to complete our sets, for our favorite teams, then favorite stars. I stopped buying packs and boxes and I now buy older vintage OPC hockey and topps and fleer basketball. I will also dabble in some 90's stuff of my favorite guys.